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Are You Living Today By Default Or Design?

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If I had 6 hours to cut down a tree, I'd spend 4 sharpening my axe." Abraham Lincolnimage

Very successful people are those who think about what matters to them and take the time to be purposeful about their actions and vigilant about their emotions.

What about you? Are you living today by default or design?

Recently, just after I'd sat down to work on my next book, I heard a rumble. I initially thought there must be someone (a really BIG someone) walking on the floor above me. But then, as the rumble continued and the entire house began to shake, I realized I was experiencing some sort of earth tremor. It was only afterward, when my brother living in Australia called to ask if I was okay that I turned on the TV to discover I'd felt the distant tremors of a 5.8 earthquake.

Not too long after that, I learned that a hurricane, or at least the effects of one, was heading my  way. Ahhhh...there's no force greater than Mother Nature -- except, of course, the force of the human spirit, particularly when it's focused on achieving something that brings purpose and meaning to life. Which brings me around to what I wanted to write about when I sat down to write this (before earthquakes and text messages distracted me).

There's a wonderful old saying that goes: "If you don't know where you are heading, any old road will take you." Likewise, if you aren't sure about where you want to go, it's highly possible that you will not like where you end up.

Too often we get so caught up in the "busy-ness" of living, that we don't take time to ask ourselves whether the direction we are traveling is taking us somewhere we truly want to go -- somewhere that inspires us, bringing meaning to our days and purpose to our lives. Regardless of where you are in your life right now, I encourage you to take some time to think about what you really want for yourself in life -- in your career or business, your marriage, family, health and fitness, finances, etc. Visualize what your "ideal future" would look like 3 years from now, 5 years from now...15 years from now. What lights you up? What makes you feel like you are living the life you were born to live?

Of course, there are many factors that we have no control over (earthquakes and hurricanes are first to mind!) but the most important factors, we can control. And those who succeed in creating fulfilling lives are those who are very thoughtful about what matters most to them and conscious of the power they have to choose their response to whatever circumstance. They are purposeful in the actions they take, vigilant of the emotions that can derail them and intentional about living their life by design rather than by default.

I invite you to cast your mind ahead to the end of this year; think about the top three things you'd really like to accomplish. Then, pursue or change a behavior to make those things start to happen now.  Perhaps you'd like to get stronger or get a new job.  Perhaps you could register for an adult ed class to learn a new skill or just take more time out of your week to be still and get present to the people and gifts in your life today. Whatever it is, making time to prepare and plan how you will achieve it will be time well-spent. 

Albert Camus once said that our life is the lump sum of our choices. I hope that as you move forward in the week ahead, the choices you make will honor what is most important to you and take you further in the direction of your greatest dreams and aspirations.

Margie Warrell; thought leader in human potential, master life coach, international speaker, media contributor and best-selling author of Find Your Courage. Take the Courage Quiz, watch Margie?s TV interviews (TODAY show, Fox, CNBC) and sign up for her free LIVE BOLDLY! newsletter. Then order your personally autographed Amazon best-seller book Find Your Courage.

Original author: Margie Warrell
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Margie Warrell is a Courage Expert, Executive Life Coach, Speaker, and Bestselling Author who is recognized internationally as an expert on living and leading with courage. She is an ICF certified coach and influential speaker with a background in psychology and Fortune 500 business. As an expert on courage in the workplace and beyond, she is passionate about challenging both individuals and organizations to expand their vision, engage in bigger conversations and lead more courageously.
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